Bye bye Babergh, South Suffolk set to be the future for district council
PUBLISHED: 16:50 18 September 2019 | UPDATED: 17:04 18 September 2019
Babergh could be set to cease to exist as a council area next year - but that has nothing to do with the controversial idea of merging with neighbouring Mid Suffolk!
Members of Babergh Council will next month hold a special meeting to consider changing their name to South Suffolk - in a bid to end confusion about where the district is, and even how its name should be pronounced!
Babergh was set up as a local council area in 1972 - but took its name from one of the historic "Hundreds" of Suffolk with names dating back to the Domesday Book.
Baberga was recorded in that document - it is believed to refer to the Mound of Babba - and over the centuries was used to define the Hundred around Sudbury.
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When the district council area was formed in the early 1970s, it took that name but the area also included the Cosford and Samford Hundreds as well as the ancient borough of Sudbury.
Councillors are being asked to consider renaming the council at a special meeting on October 22. It will need a two-thirds majority and if the name change is approved it then has to go to government ministers and the Ordnance Survey to be registered.
However if it is passed in October, the new name should be confirmed in time for it to go on next year's council tax bills. Council leader John Ward said: "Babergh has a proud history, but we know that people from further afield are often unaware of exactly where Babergh is and even struggle over its pronunciation.
"By renaming to South Suffolk we can be clear about who we are, where we are and what we represent - as well as clearly identifying the council, it will also align with the name of our parliamentary constituency, cutting down on any confusion."
The council has been in existence since 1974 - two years after it was set up under the Local Government Act 1972. For most of that time it was based in Hadleigh until the joint Babergh and Mid Suffolk administration moved to Endeavour House in Ipswich.
Mr Ward said that if a change of name is agreed, implementation costs would be kept to an absolute minimum, tying in with work already taking place examining how existing logos for both Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils are used and involving councillors from all parties. The current logo already includes the South Suffolk description.